SLO man facing hate crime charges after racist, homophobic outburst

March 24, 2021

John Lentz

By KAREN VELIE

A 26-year-old San Luis Obispo man is facing a hate crime charge after he allegedly spit in the face of an Asian, gay police officer while yelling racial and homophobic slurs, according to court records.

John Lentz also faces charges of battery on a police officer, resisting an officer and drunk in public. Lentz was scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday.

On March 19, Lentz’ father called 911 to report his son had a gun and was threatening to harm himself and anyone who tried to stop him. Officers arrived at the San Luis Obispo home and decided to transport Lentz to a mental health facility for evaluation.

Lentz then became aggressive, attempting to pull away while challenging the officers to a fight. In the police cruiser, Lentz began smashing his head against a window.

Officer John Stevens pulled over and attempted to assist Lentz, who spit in his face while saying he had COVID-19.

At the hospital, Lentz began ripping “cords” from his body and slamming hospital equipment while yelling racial and homophobic slurs at Stevens. Lentz again spit on Steven’s face saying he wanted to f**k him up.


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Jorge Estrada

There are many unhappy people these days, and many flavors of unhappiness. There is a very thin line between his words and actions of all sides. What if we all just protested by not being unhappy and hateful?


NorthCountyLady

So was Mr. Lentz handcuffed when he was being transported to get a mental health evaluation? If so, how was he slamming things around at the hospital. How can he be charged with being drunk in public if he was at home drunk and was only in public because the officers transported him to a public place? How did he know that officer Stevens was gay? Does have a diagnosed mental health history? Were the officers aware of that? Our country is not dealing with the issue of mental health in a compassionate and effective way. Concerned parents and loved ones do not know where to turn when their children or spouse is having a crisis as too often a call for help means police officers show up at your door and the person in crisis is either shot, arrested or further traumatized.


Gramelin

Just goes to show, NEVER call the cops when someone you Love is have a breakdown. Call Mental Health instead! I looked up the number (805) 781-4700.


retiredpoliceofficer

What a bunch of hypocrisy. You all know he doesn’t belong in jail. You know the charges are ridiculous. You know he should be in a mental health facility if he has not recovered. But none of you bleeding hearts are willing to call the District Attorneys office and tell them to drop the charges. They are going to prosecute this guy, make a plea deal and send him to jail or prison.


Gramelin

So, since you are a retired Officer? How are cops taught to deal with this type of situation? Are they taught to contact Mental Health? Call for a professional?


diamond

The general CCN reader consensus is, he is mentally ill.

To Armchair therapists, because he was drunk, then threatened to harm himself, he was sent for mental evaluation. This does not mean he IS mentally ill. It’s only because he threatened harm to himself that he was flagged for evaluation.

So, He was drunk & angry with a gun.

Or, Mentally ill & drunk with a gun.

Is one better that the other?

We’ve had two more mass shootings in 2 weeks. One shooter claiming mental illness, the other racially motivated. So what? Just another day in America. Because above our right to life, while trying to grocery shop, or go to school or carry out daily life, is of less value, than gun rights. Your American right to openly carry an assault rifle to your neighborhood bakery has more merit than human collateral damage.

Mentally ill or drunk, glad his father is ok, this time. Make sure to give him those guns back though…

Second amendment and stuff. Murica!


SLO ride

1. 911 was called because he threatened suicide. Not because of a crime.

2. He was in his own home.

3. No, there was no gun. Just him threatening to harm himself.

4. He has mental health diagnosis. This was going untreated.

5. His father does not live in the area.


Downtown Bob

I am confused, was the Atlanta mentally ill suspect that apparently frequented Asian “massage” establishments racially motivated, or the mentally ill Boulder shooter angry at white people for stereotyping muslim extremists the one that was racially motivated? I can never get these mainstream narratives straight.


Gramelin

Drunk or not, he was still mentally ill. Just a sane sad drunk guy doesn’t threaten to kill himself, nor antagonize the police.

And IF he did have a gun, I am sure after his little tizzie fit here, they will take it away anyway.


What makes you think anyone willing to break the law would give up his gun?

I never understood you guys who want to take away guns from the Law abiding citizens. So, you want the people who could possibly protect you in a time of terror, not have that ability? Because you think by taking the guns, those bad guys won’t have guns?? Of course they will! What you are saying is that you want those Crazy bad wackos, to be the Only ones with guns! That’s exactly what it means. You want a normal person to NOT have the ability to protect himself, his family and possibly YOU? Please explain how that makes any sense at all.


But I am for pressing better vetting and follow through when someone gets in trouble. Someone gets the police called on them for threatening someone, the police follow through by making sure they take their guns away!


FoxtrotYankee

Your American right to openly carry an assault rifle to your neighborhood bakery has more merit than human collateral damage.


If everyone had the right to openly carry a rifle to the bakery, there wouldn’t be any mass-shootings in the local bakery.


Ever seen a mass shooting at any location where the majority of people are armed? Like at a gun store? Or a gun show? Or a gun range? No? Wonder why…?


In any event, it seems you have a liberal viewpoint. So you probably realize that gun-control laws disproportionately target minorities. In fact, the open-carrying a firearm in California was made illegal (Mulford Act) in response to the Black Panthers.


Meanwhile, you live in your nice SLO bubble and could never imagine why anyone would need a firearm for self-defense and look for ways to argue for disarming people who want to protect themselves. At the end of that road is a populace where criminals are still armed and law abiding families are incapable of self-defense.


At least make an argument for better background checks to identify mental illness before issuing a firearm license. There’s some logic there, but the rest of your position is a fallacy.


Gramelin

Let me get his straight, a COP is pressing charges against a Mentally unstable Man, claiming Hate crimes?? Are you kidding? I must ask, why is this guy a cop? Is his skin so thin? Does he lack such understanding about people in a Mentally unstable state? I am confused over why it has gone so far as to make this guy a Criminal over words, when he was obviously out of his mind? Get him help! Take him to Mental Health!

Perhaps if Officer Stevens cannot take harsh words from a drunk, mentally unstable person, he should probably consider a different career.